Pope Francis In Mozambique Seeks To Strengthen Peace Accord

A girl celebrates after Pope Francis blessed her rosary during the Interreligious meeting with the Youth at the Maxaquene Pavillion in Maputo, on September 5, 2019. TIZIANA FABI / AFP

 

After a jubilant arrival in Mozambique at the start a three-nation African tour, Pope Francis on Thursday will meet with political and civil leaders to encourage them to consolidate a fragile peace accord.

The pope’s three-day visit to Mozambique comes a month after the government signed a historic peace treaty with the former rebel group Renamo, which is now the main opposition party.

Mozambique’s 16-year civil war devastated the former Portuguese colony, killing around one million people, and Renamo had never completely disarmed.

Francis, the first pope to visit Mozambique since John Paul II in 1988, was whisked away in his popemobile after arriving on Wednesday as crowds waved and danced in welcome.

He starts Thursday with a private meeting with President Filipe Nyusi, who wants to run for a second term in an election scheduled for October 15. The two men had already met one year ago at the Vatican.

As well as discussing the peace agreement, Francis is expected to address the devastation caused by two back-to-back cyclones earlier this year in the poor southeast African country.

He will not travel to Beira, the second city of the country swept away in March by Cyclone Idai, which left 600 dead and hundreds of thousands homeless.

Even six months on, many people are without shelter and food.

“Even if I can not go beyond the capital, my heart is with you and embraces you all, with a special place for those who live in difficulty,” he said to the victims of the cyclone, before his trip.

‘Pope of the Poor’

On Friday, the pope will address a mass at the giant Zimpeto stadium in the seaside capital Maputo.

The pope may also address the issue of extremism in northern Mozambique where jihadist attacks have claimed more than 300 lives over two years.

Francis could also speak about climate change, a key topic for the pontiff who has organised in a global meeting of bishops in Rome dedicated to the Amazon, which has been hit by devastating fires.

According to the World Bank, Mozambique, with its more than 2,000 km of coastline along the Indian Ocean, is among the ten most threatened countries in the world due to the consequences of climate change.

The pope will later visit the large Indian Ocean island of Madagascar and its much smaller neighbour Mauritius — both situated off the eastern coast of Africa.

Mozambique and Madagascar are among the world’s poorest countries and Francis’ choice to visit has been seen as act of solidarity from a cleric who was often in shantytowns of Argentina and is now called the “pope of the poor”.

14 Killed In Mozambique Dump Collapse

 

 

At least 14 people were killed when a rubbish mound collapsed in a poor district of Mozambique’s capital Maputo, crushing several nearby homes, emergency services said.

Torrential rain is thought to have caused the loose waste to shift and crash down on the shacks, trapping the occupants who were sleeping at the time of the incident on Sunday night.

Mozambique’s emergency service warned there could be more victims, trapped under the vast waste pile which is located in the Hulene district of the capital.

“The information we received from local authorities is that the number of people living in those houses exceeds the number of deaths recorded, so work is still ongoing to see if there are any other deaths,” said spokesman Leonilde Pelembe.

The rubbish mound destroyed five homes and rescue teams were still searching through the wreckage to find survivors, he added.

“I live in this neighbourhood because I have nowhere to go. Had the government told me to go to another place to live, I would have left here,” said local resident Maria Huo.

Her family home was partially destroyed and her son injured in the landslide, she said.

“It’s been more than 10 years that the dump should have been closed because it’s full — but they still continue to pile trash on the trash. The consequence is this,” said Teresa Mangue, a neighbourhood leader.

Heavy rain has been falling on Maputo since Sunday causing flooding, damaging homes and deluging roads and schools.

AFP

South African Minister Shocked At Coach Ephraim Mashaba’s Suspension

South African Minister Shocked At Coach Ephraim Mashaba SuspensionSouth Africa’s Sports Minister, Fikile Mbalula, says he is taken aback by the suspension of national coach, Ephraim Mashaba, especially now that the national team is doing well.

South Africa’s football association suspended head coach Ephraim Mashaba after what it refers to as “a regrettable incident”, a day after he guided the team to a 2-1 World Cup qualifying home victory over Senegal.

SAFA gave no reason for the suspension, but there are indications the 66-year-old argued with officials from the national body after the match in Polokwane.

“Mashaba will not join the team on their trip to Mozambique”, read the FA’s statement.

It added: “The Association has deemed it necessary to employ disciplinary measures after a regrettable incident at Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday, 12 November 2016.”

There were also reports that he disrespected SAFA President, Danny Jordan.

His assistant Owen da Gama will take charge for the friendly against Mozambique in Maputo on Tuesday.

South Africa share first place in Group D with Burkina Faso on four points after two rounds.

NDLEA Intercepts Drugs Worth Over N300 Million In Kano

ndlea, efccThe National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) attached to Malam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA) has intercepted 10.6kg of high grade pure rrack heroin with street value of over N200 million .

Addressing a news conference, the NDLEA MAKIA Commander, Ambrose Umoru, told journalists that the drug was uncovered during an inward examination and clearance of luggage of Ethiopian Airline flight number ET 491 from Addis Ababa.

The drug was neatly concealed in eight submersible water pump machines inside two cartons wrapped with a transparent cellophane leather.

In a related development, the Command also seized 93kg of narcotics comprising of 22kg of Methamphetamine worth N60 million and Ephedrine worth N70 one million all concealed in cartons of pressing irons mixed with hair attachments and slippers destined for Maputo, Mozambique.

Channels Television’s Jubrin Idris reports that no arrest was made in the course of the seizure, but the noted that the Commander urged members of the society to be wary any suspicious individual who may likely look like the fugitive for immediate apprehension.

Mozambique Airlines Plane Crashes In Namibia, Killing 34

A Mozambique Airlines plane en route to Angola crashed in a game park in northeast Namibia killing all 34 people on board, Namibian police said on Saturday.

Flight TM 470 left Maputo on Friday for the Angolan capital of Luanda with 28 passengers and six crew members on board when it lost contact with air traffic controllers, the national carrier said in a statement.

Namibian Police Force Deputy Commissioner Willy Bampton said rescue workers had found burned-out wreckage of the aircraft in the dense bush of Bwabwata National Park, near the borders with Angola and Botswana.

“The plane has been completely burned to ashes and there are no survivors,” Bampton said.

A Bwabwata game ranger at the scene said the plane’s black boxes, including the voice recorder, had been located and taken by investigators.

“The bodies are scattered all over the place. It’s a horrible sight,” said the ranger, who identified himself only by his surname, Shinonge.

Namibia’s aircraft investigation unit launched a helicopter search for the plane on Friday but called it off because of heavy rain, an investigator said, adding the search had resumed on Saturday.

The remote, 6,100 sq km (2,300 sq mile) park is home to wildlife including elephants, lions and wild dogs.

Mozambican officials said the plane, an Embraer SA 190, went missing on Friday in bad weather and poor visibility.

In a statement on its website, Mozambique Airlines listed the nationalities of the passengers on Flight TM470 as 10 Mozambicans, nine Angolans, 5 Portuguese, one French, one Brazilian and one Chinese.

The flight left the Mozambican capital of Maputo at 1126 (0426 ET) on Friday and had been due to arrive in Luanda at 1400.